Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in the Jewelry world

Since my last few entries have a trend, why not continue? Only this time, it's taking something I started, then set aside, to pick up again a year or so later! This lovely little pendant is made using goldfilled wire, a very old Czech hand cut glass bead and crystals. What makes this extra special is the gold-wire is reused. Over a year ago I was making a wrapped cab pendant and misjudged the wire amount, or the wires weren't twisting right, or something... anyway, I didn't like how it looked, so I carefully took the cab out and put the gold wire bits in my used pile.

Like all good metalsmiths, when you have left over bits, or in this case, something that didn't work, you save them. There is only so much silver and gold in the earth, it's costly and if you save up a goodly pile, you can ship them back to your supplier for credit. Or you can melt them yourself, and reuse the metal that way. Sometimes you only need a inch or 2 of wire, and I go through my pile from time to time to get out the bigger pieces. Jewelry artist are the original recyclers, as this practice has been going on for hundreds and thousands of years!

Anyway, I was digging through my pile looking for a couple inches of goldfill for a headpin, and ran across this misshapen UN-pendant. I wish I'd taken a "before" picture, but it happened fast. I saw it, knew I could do something with it and in just a few minutes I had a new pendant, and no wasted wire!

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